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Creating and Maintaining a Strategic KOL Management and Engagement System
Creating and Maintaining a Strategic KOL Management and Engagement System
Creating and Maintaining a Strategic KOL Management and Engagement System
Creating and Maintaining a Strategic KOL Management and Engagement System
Creating and Maintaining a Strategic KOL Management and Engagement System
Creating and Maintaining a Strategic KOL Management and Engagement System
Creating and Maintaining a Strategic KOL Management and Engagement System
Creating and Maintaining a Strategic KOL Management and Engagement System
Creating and Maintaining a Strategic KOL Management and Engagement System
Creating and Maintaining a Strategic KOL Management and Engagement System
Creating and Maintaining a Strategic KOL Management and Engagement System
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Creating and Maintaining a Strategic KOL Management and Engagement System

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Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) are recognized as one of the most effective avenues for building awareness in medical and scientific communities. As biopharma organizations reconsider their strategic …

Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) are recognized as one of the most effective avenues for building awareness in medical and scientific communities. As biopharma organizations reconsider their strategic approach to TL engagement, they are seeking an evidence-based understanding of current and evolving approaches to creating and maintaining an integrated, strategically-focused TL management system.
Best Practices, LLC conducted this in-depth study to address the following key areas:
-Identify the most common and favored organizational structure for strategic TL management and engagement
-Understand the current state of TL management practices in the pharmaceutical industry
-Determine how TL management practices are evolving
Identify innovative practices that are driving TL management success at other organizations

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  • 1. Best Practices, LLC Strategic Benchmarking Research Creating and Maintaining a Strategic KOL Management and Engagement System
  • 2. Table of Contents  Executive Summary  Research Overview  Participating Companies  Key Findings & Insights  Universe of Learning: Key Demographics of Participating Companies ………………6  Structuring Strategic Thought Leader Management and Engagement …………….…9  Administering Strategic Thought Leader Management and Engagement……………15  Coordinating and Communicating Strategic Thought Leader Management and Engagement……………………………………………………………………………………...22  Aligning Software Tools to Support Strategic Thought Leader Management and Engagement……………………………………………………………………………………...30  Identifying and Engaging Thought Leaders………………………………………………..35  Measuring Strategic Thought Leader Management and Engagement Success……..42  Staffing Strategic Thought Leader Management and Engagement……………………45  Looking Forward: Success Factors for Strategic TL Management & Engagement..51  About Best Practices, LLC 2 Copyright © Best Practices, LLC
  • 3.  Identify the most common and favored organizational structure for strategic TL management and engagement  Understand the current state of TL management practices in the pharmaceutical industry  Determine how TL management practices are evolving  Identify innovative practices that are driving TL management success at other organizations 3 Copyright © Best Practices, LLC Business Issue & Objectives Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) are recognized as one of the most effective avenues for building awareness in medical and scientific communities. As biopharma organizations reconsider their strategic approach to TL engagement, they are seeking an evidence-based understanding of current and evolving approaches to creating and maintaining an integrated, strategically-focused TL management system. Harvesting Insights & Analysis: Expert Sources: Objective: 34 TL management leaders from 29 biopharma and device organizations participated in the field survey, and we interviewed 4 for in-depth insights. Field Survey & External Interviews Formulate a Strategic Approach for:  Improving the Value and Effectiveness of KOL Management System and  Ensuring Alignment with the Organization’s Evolving Strategy and Structure Research Objectives: Methodology: INFORMS
  • 4. Benchmark Class 4 Copyright © Best Practices, LLC 29 Life Science Organizations Participated in Study Thirty-four TL management leaders from 29 biopharma and device organizations participated in the external field survey, and we interviewed 4 participants for in-depth insights
  • 5. Most Effective Way to Coordinate TL Activities Medical Affairs Guides TL Engagement/Strategy Strategic TL Management Structure 5 Copyright © Best Practices, LLC Key Findings: Study Snapshot of Peers’ Strategic KOL Management Many observations have been harvested from the study. These are some of the key benchmarks to surface. Most respondents believe a decentralized TL management structure is not optimal, though almost 40 percent use a decentralized system now. Most view a hybrid or centralized structure (48 and 38 percent, respectively) as optimal for modern Thought Leader engagement. Many companies (38%) seek to use a strong core team to lead KOL management companywide. This can be hard as companies employ cross-functional oversight groups with leadership from business units, medical affairs, marketing and others. In fact, 28% said that their companies have no formal KOL management process in place. Eighty percent of companies said Medical Affairs oversees TL engagement and strategy, but their structures do not support this. Only 31 percent say that Medical Affairs handles the administration of such programs. This represents a potential gap or hole where priorities can become misaligned.
  • 6. (n=33) Q3. How is your strategic KOL management and engagement system structured? Q4. In your experience, what is the optimal organizational structure for strategic KOL management and engagement? 6 Copyright © Best Practices, LLC Current & Optimal Strategic KOL Management & Engagement System Structure: “I've done it both ways. I’ve worked in companies where they had everything broken down by business units and then I've worked at companies that said, ‘Oh no, business units may become too siloed, so let's bring it all together.’” - Senior Director % of Responses 33% 48% 27% 38% 39% 3% 10% Current Optimal Hybrid Centralized Decentralized Other (n=29) Other Optimal: I have not found any system ideal in trying to handle management of internal team with external KOLs; Marketing & Sales; Optimal structure often depends on the business needs and the size and fragmentation of the businesses. No One Structure Seen as Best for KOL Management No single structure for strategic KOL management is embraced by the 33 life sciences organizations that participated in this study, although for current structure the largest percentage - 39% - utilize a decentralized structure. It is noteworthy that while decentralized is used by many organizations, it was only favored by 3% when asked what they felt was the optimal structural approach for this activity. Almost half – 48% - said a hybrid approach was optimal for strategic KOL management.
  • 7. Communication Key to Coordinating KOL Management Communication was a theme in other approaches cited by participants for coordinating KOL management across functions. Q13. In your experience, what is the most effective way to coordinate strategic KOL management and engagement activities across different functions and/or groups? 7 Copyright © Best Practices, LLC Coordination of Strategic KOL Management and Engagement Activities continued: • Define the roles of each functions and joint committees • Having a defined process and transparency across all functions and groups to increase efficiency and decrease redundancies • Expert database with strategic planning tool and CRM database for info sharing on activities • Via regular quantitative and qualitative feedback (CRM tool, OL surveys) • Regular, collaborative meetings between KOL strategic leadership personnel and relationship owners. • Flexibility/ Course correction based on both micro and macro trends: Discuss/revise plan based on KOL maps, scorecards (ROI/ strategy), what is working/not working, current and future product mix, megatrends affecting healthcare, competitive inroads, etc. Communicate effectively between all stakeholders Organize & leverage field feedback Conduct regular meetings Other
  • 8. Ad Boards & Scientific Presentations Most Valued KOL Activities A wide range of KOL activities are valued by organizations since these respected scientists, clinicians and faculty members provide invaluable insights and credibility. Advisory boards and scientific presentations were seen as the most valuable by participants. (n=30) Q22. Which KOL activities below are most valued by your company? (Check all that apply.) 8 Copyright © Best Practices, LLC Most Valued KOL Activities 87% Supporting Advisory Boards 77% Delivering scientific presentations 73% KOL relationship management 67% Investigator- initiated research (i.e. IITs, IST, etc.) 57% Educating KOLs & other healthcare professionals 50% Coordinating company- sponsored research/ trials 50% Identifying & training speakers47% CME activities 43% Recruit- ment for medical pubs 43% CI gathering from TLs 33% 27% 33% - Attending medical conferences 27% - HEOR presentations/research involving TLs 17% - Managed Care activities involving TLs 17% % of Responses
  • 9. Extremely variable. No consistent process that I am aware of. Each team does it individually. Sales modification of physician behavior affecting sales or patient safety // By tests and surveys // Cross functional team meeting based on inputs from colleagues Assessed by evaluating strategic utilization on a monthly basis Market share or clinical trial results Dedicated FTEs // Monthly report in spreadsheet // Project deliverables // Publications, presentations and IIS plus more difficult-to-measure relationship and advice received Not evaluated // Not typically assessed within the company. But, during the engagement activities, if the project was not performed to satisfactory level, we will just not engage the KOL again. Many Have Trouble Evaluating KOL Management System Like KOL management itself, there doesn’t seem to be one accepted approach for assessing an organization’s strategic KOL management system. While many claim no formal system is in place, a quarter of participants said they rely on KOL feedback for their evaluations. (n=24) Q25. Describe how strategic KOL management and engagement success is assessed or evaluated within your company. 9 Copyright © Best Practices, LLC Evaluating Success of Strategic KOL Management and Engagement: 29% 25% 8% 8% 21% 13% Highly variable/ No formal evaluation process KOL feedback KOL utilization levels ROI Other None % of Comments
  • 10. Strategic KOL Management Requires Multiple Players, Layers Executive interviews surfaced several recurring themes around what’s needed for an effective KOL management system: software or internal platform that shows interactions; a coordinator or primary point of contact for medical and commercial and a cross-functional team in each TA or BU that tracks, aggregates and then shares KOL interaction information with senior leadership. 10 Copyright © Best Practices, LLC “Medical should not be creating the commercial strategy, and the commercial should not be influencing medical strategy. Once you get to the very senior management level of the company, we're talking Senior VP level, then everyone needs to be in congruence that ‘Yes, we should go forward based on what we're hearing from the medical and our commercial colleagues.’” - Sr. Director 2, Medical Affairs • Identifies/Segments KOLs • Shows Interactions (who, when) for Medical & Commercial • Includes Notes Visible only to Medical or Commercial • Gathers Information from Coordinator, platform/system and across Functions • Aggregates Information to Show Status of Current and Future Projects • Shares Overview of Medical and Commercial Status on Current and Future Projects with Senior Leadership Cross- Functional Strategic Group (in each TA/BU and includes Coordinator) Coordinator/ Primary Contact Point System/ Platform • Separate Medical & Commercial Person for each TA/BU • Coordinates KOL Interactions for Functions that don’t have Regular KOL Contact • Oversees and Guides Use of System/Platform KEY ELEMENTS FOR STRATEGIC KOL MANAGEMENT
  • 11. Best Practices, LLC 6350 Quadrangle Drive, Suite 200 Chapel Hill, NC 27517 www.best-in-class.com About Best Practices, LLC Best Practices, LLC is a research and consulting firm that conducts work based on the simple yet profound principle that organizations can chart a course to superior economic performance by studying the best business practices, operating tactics, and winning strategies of world-class companies. 11 Copyright © Best Practices, LLC

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